I'm looking for answers other than Schizophrenia or Charles Bonnet syndrome.

explanatory note:

Growing up as a child, I could see certain different cats in my window that would even move around everyday very often. Always just one. If I looked away or blinked for a second it would disappear. When starring they usually stayed in appearance for at most 20 seconds and then vanish. I think it had something to do with my serious lack of sleep and love for my two real pet cats. I honestly don't believe I had a disease

  • Can you expound on this? – gelolopez Jul 13 '15 at 6:03
  • It may not be a psychological disease. Probably just a product of your young imaginations. :) – gelolopez Jul 13 '15 at 6:29
  • 2
    This is a language site, if you're looking for the actual medical name of a rare psychological condition, maybe try cogsci.stackexchange.com – user56reinstatemonica8 Jul 13 '15 at 16:29

You’re describing visual hallucinations. These are often part of a syndrome termed psychosis but can also occur in other situations (e.g. alcohol withdrawal, intoxication with a variety of substances, delirium due to a medical condition).*

Schizophrenia is the name of a particular psychiatric disease characterized by psychosis. Hallucinations themselves are a symptom, not a disease.


The perception of an object or event (in any of the 5 senses) in the absence of an external stimulus.


Psychosis occurs when a person loses contact with reality. The person may:

  • Have false beliefs about what is taking place, or who one is (delusions).
  • See or hear things that are not there (hallucinations).

*In response to the updated question: Occasionally in healthy people (and more often in those with narcolepsy), visual hallucinations occur at the border between wake and sleep, then termed hypagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations. This is a type of parasomnia and is most common in young people who are sleep deprived.


There is no disease that consists of hallucinations. Hallucinations are a symptom of various diseases and neurological conditions. The state of persistent hallucinations is "hallucinosis," but the nature of the hallucinations is not restricted. The term of art for hallucinating animals is "zooscopy" or "zoopsia," but again this names a symptom and not a disease


This is most commonly called an imaginary friend, and it's considered quite normal for children, not a disease or a symptom of a disease.

The same term is sometimes used in a derogatory fashion to infantilize things that adults believe in, like deities.

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